Apple TV 4K (2022) vs. Apple TV 4K (2021): The tvOS set-top box looks the same, but are the big internal improvements worth the upgrade?
The appearance of the Apple TV set-top box hasn’t changed much in about seven years. The hockey puck has become a bit more compact, and the Siri Remote has undergone a series of major changes.
However, while this year’s model offers an identical design to the Apple TV 4K (2021) – save for one small but important change to the Siri Remote – there are big differences inside. Let’s explore them.
Siri Remote has an important change
As with recent iPad models and future iPhones, Apple has ditched the Lightning port for the Apple TV 4K (2022) Siri Remote in favor of the now standard (soon to be standard) USB-C charging solution.
Unfortunately, according to reports, Apple isn’t giving people a USB-C cable in the box. Most Apple users have plenty of Lightning cables already working, so they can get by without an extra cable. We’re not sure if that’s the case when it comes to USB-C.
What is this? Price Reduction?!
We’ve heard so much about tech prices going up recently that we almost fell off our chairs when Apple told us that this year’s Apple TV 4K is actually dropping £20 in price! The 64GB model is now £149, while the 128GB model with a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired connections is now £169.
Still, he’s an honest cop. The Apple TV range has always been a little higher in price compared to competing devices from Amazon, Google, Roku and the rest. According to the famous analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the next device in the series will be even cheaper.
So should we wait for a more substantial update or dive in while it’s good?
HDR10+ joins Dolby Vision at the party
The current Apple TV 4K is Team Dolby Vision when it comes to high dynamic range standards, but the new model adds the competing HDR10+ standard to the mix.
Is this a big deal? Dolby Vision itself is backwards compatible with the static HDR10 format. This means that if you have a device compatible with Dolby Vision, it can play HDR10 content.
However, HDR10+ adds dynamic metadata, can automatically adjust brightness, and achieve higher overall brightness. So for content supporting HDR10+ instead of Dolby Vision, you’ll get the benefits of both.
There are many streaming services that rely on HDR10+, such as Google Play Movies and TV, Hulu Originals, Paramount Plus and Prime Video – although the latter decided to support Dolby Vision again just recently.
Here’s our explanation of what HDR10+ is to help you determine just how useful the add-on should be.
The new model has much more power
The 2022 version of the popular tvOS box now runs the A15 Bionic processor – a version of the powerful chip that Apple uses in the 2021 iPhone 13 range.
It’s also a decent upgrade on the second-generation Apple TV 4K, which runs on an A12 Bionic processor. Apple says it’s up to 50% faster than the previous generation, which will result in faster UI animations and smoother gaming performance.
On that note, GPU performance is also 30% faster than the previous generation. The whole package is also more energy efficient, which is great news for Apple Arcade subscribers.